The Use of HDR Backgrounds in Compositing

HDR (high dynamic range) backgrounds typically require anywhere from 3 to 9 exposures with the camera mounted on a tripod. Depending upon how the final image is tone mapped (processed), the result can range from realistic to surreal. Because no model can hold perfectly still for the duration of such a series of exposures, it is necessary to composite the model into the HDR background. 

One place in Singapore where you often see location work is in Fort Canning Park, especially in the area of the old fort gates. Here is a standard image of the gates, where models often pose:


Here is the model Sinthu Ragupalan composited into the identical scene, but this time the background is a tone mapped HDR image:


When the model is photographed in a studio environment, the lighting can be more accurately controlled, and with not contaminating the background. Granted, this technique of compositing takes some time and effort in post processing, but the unique images that result are worth it.